The warmth of Delamere Station was welcome and it was very busy with lots of Easy Riders and walkers. Steve T was yet again dragooned into the Brisk Ride Formation Cycling Team as Ivan leads us out setting off bound for Runcorn via Kingsley. The other side of Frodsham, Steve offers to weave us through Runcorn in between the railway lines, main roads and canals, to get to the old Mersey Bridge, which he did expertly. Up until this point, the roads were pretty familiar to me but this was all about to change. Steve tells me "it is a bit rough around here". I see signs for Prescot where the owner of the Chester "Sticky Walnut" restaurant successfully opened a gourmet establishment!
|On the Mersey Old Bridge|
We motor on passing Burtonwood Brewery and then into the metropolis that is Warrington, now with 209,000 population and a lot of warehouses! After 30 miles, we tie up our steeds outside the Spoons' "The Friar Penketh" where a couple of workers are jet-washing the outside smoking area - the jobsworth won't let us park our bikes away from the pavement here, neither offer to jet-wash our mud covered bikes.
We get a table at the window to stand watch over our bikes as our food comes promptly as always from the kitchens. The route back doesn't feature much in the way of railways, but we set off along the Mersey River cyclepath crossing it over the swinging Howley Footbridge where an electric blue-haired lass kindly takes our photo. Cutting through Victoria Park and more cycle-paths, we head for Hillcliffe where the clue is in the name. It's a long ride up at nearly 10% to Fox Covert Cemetery and thence down the unmade road passing upmarket houses to Appleton reservoir.
|Howley Footbridge over the Mersey River|
Crossing the M56 we end up at Preston-on-the-Hill where we elect to join the old Chester to Warrington road known as the A56. Steve peels off near Sutton Weaver as Ivan and I ride straight back to Chester. Ivan's planned route would have taken you back to Delamere with 51 miles via Acton Bridge however.
Safely back in Chester, it now getting colder as Ivan I finish up for around 70 miles round trip. A great day out with a good part along roads and areas that I had not been down, or up, before.
See route map and/or gpx file download